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Face the Nation

News/Business. (2012) Obama campaign senior advisor David Axelrod; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); politics roundtable. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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Ohio 6, Peggy 6, Washington 6, Florida 5, Lindsey Graham 4, Obama 4, Schieffer 3, Dee Dee 3, Us 3, Barack Obama 3, John 2, Sean Hannity 2, Benghazi 2, David Petraeus 1, Thomas Jefferson 1, Romney 1, Dee Dee Myers 1, David 1, Lugar 1, Clinton 1,
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  CBS    Face the Nation    News/Business.  (2012) Obama campaign senior advisor David  
   Axelrod; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); politics roundtable....  

    November 11, 2012
    5:00 - 5:30pm PST  

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going to continue the discussion with peggy noonan and david gergen, adding dee dee myers, who was the press secretary for president clinton, is now a contributor to "vanity fair," and our own political director john dickerson. david, i want to go back to you. someone was just saying your twitter feed-- >> dee dee made that point. i want to make clear-- i'm not condoning what david petraeus did, nor what the woman did. you know, but i do think that people are human. we have worked for human leaders ourselves, dee dee. and we understand that people ought to be sort of-- take it in context and understand when people are human they make mistakes. some of our greatest moral leaders have done that. there's just a new book out about thomas jefferson and his weaknesses he experienced in life. and yet he was a great leader of this country. what i do believe is that we should see it in the larger context and that is general petrace has given this country distinguished service for over 40 years. he has put his life on the line
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on a continuous basis. he was nearly killed in service earlier on. and he has been a wonderful, wonderful role model for a lot of people, and we ought to understand his humanness and appreciate that. >> i think the american people are willing to forgive leaders for their impertechses, i really do. even in this area. i don't think that's the question here. i think people don't like it, but they also don't think it's disqualifying. but i think this case raises so many other questions, as peggy was saying earlier. it just seems incongruous right now that it got from this relationship to the f.b.i. to him resigning and being urged to resign by clapper. it just seems like there's a lot of questions that haven't been answered. >> schieffer: the part that interests me, do we think-- does anybody have a suggestion that this had anything to do with anything besides what this extramarital affair? was somebody upset with general petraeus about what happened in benghazi? i think lindsey graham is right when he says we need to have an
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victories glowft of this incident but of this whole business, peggy. >> this is one of those what the heck is going on kind of moments where you have so many questions, as many people are saying off the record. this feels a little homeland, almost. you know what i mean? it's a little too mysterious. look, i come back to where i started. petraeus is a great guy. he has sacrificed for his country for 40 years. it is a shame to lose him over this. and i just have to ask why do we have to lose him over this? that actually makes no sense. >> schieffer: so do you think they moved too fast? >> i don't know what they knew. but it looks very strange. i do not understand why they could not-- i guess, i hope we'll find out why they-- why it wasn't a scenario in which they said, "okay, we've got a problem. we see a problem. general, you have to know this." he said, "i'm very sorry, that's
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over, move forward" i don't understand why you have to leave over this. >> there are a lot of people out there who do have skepticism. they think this is maybe somehow tied to benghazi. i think lindsey graham was right. general petraeus should exercise. he should testify to lay those doubts to rest. i don't know what happened and why he resigned. i don't know the internals. i will bet dollars to donuts that there was a voluntary aspect to this, that he himself felt under the circumstances he should resign, that that was the honorable thing to do. >> distinction is whether he should lose his reputation and his job and i think david is right, don't let the worst thing about a person become the true thing about him. what is the standard for everybody in the sky? they would probably be out if the person they had an affair with had access to their e-mail as a security breach kind of thing. so he probably has to if-- >> why did she have acitose hi
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access to his e-mails? >> we don't know. but in terms of his job, keeping secrets and not letting people have access to secret things tseems to me you can't stay in that job, separate and aparent from his reputation. it seems lindsey graham, even if you're on the left or right, even if you have the president's interests will at heart, you want to have an investigation so this can be dispensed with. otherwise this will be a rumor that is dogged. the president has said, by the way, get all the answers on the table fast or it will be dogging him for the whole second term. >> schieffer: we have a lot to talk about this morning. i want to talk a little bit about the election. now that we've had a chance to kind of sink in and think about it. john, i know you've been doing a lot of reporting out in ohio since the election. >> i just didn't get enough of ohio during the election. they did not see it coming. the romney campaign didn't see it was coming.
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i talked to a lot of people who said they weren't just cautiously optimistic, they were optimistic. when they found out they lost someone said it was like a death in the family. how did they get it wrong in ohio is what to look at. the question is more about african americans. they didn't think he would have the turnout he did. they just missed it. when people would raise the questions saying all the public polls suggested the president doing pretty well, the senior staff would say-- they would just dismiss those polls and say these polls are sampling democrats too heavily. that's just not the way this election is going to turn out. they just-- they just missed it. they also though-- there were two other things in ohio. if you look at the counties where romney did well relative to george bush in 200newshour. he did well in the coal county. where did he do poorly? the auto countys. you see it in the turnout. and then, i think, finally, the
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obama campaign was effective in turning romney into a sim bell of all the things in the economy that hurt people in the middle class. he was using outsourcing. they were using offshoring. they were painting him as the kind of bad guy that led to the economic situation people are in. >> schieffer: it seems to me in the beginning they just made a streamic mistake about ohio. why would you go and campaign against the auto bailout in a place where it worked, where they put people back to work? that seems like an odd way to go about it. i don't think it's the polling in the end that they didn't understand. i mean, that-- why would you use that? that was-- that was the thrust of their message out there. the auto bailout was wrong. >> yeah, well, they thought-- what confused them a little bit is they thought it's about independence in ohio. and we're doing well. they targeted independents, knocked on their doors. these are people who hadn't participated in the primaries of either party, and they were winning with those independents. a senior strategist said to me, fmitt romney loses ohio, i'll
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give you $1,000 to your favorite charity for every point he wins among independents." his argument was there's no way he can lose the state if he wins among independents. mitt romney won independents by 10 points in ohio, lost the state. they just-- >> schieffer: barack obama also won white working clalsz voters in ohio, which he didn't do very well with in other places. >> what he did in ohio was did well enough with white work clalsz voters and the african american turnout in ohio was 11% in 2008. it was 15% in this election. why did that happen? the strategists i talked to sort of were like, well, of course, barack obama is going to do well with african americans. if you look at african america african americans -- two things you talk to strategists who know the african american community, there was an effort by republicans in states from pennsylvania, florida, ohio, to shrink the amount of days and ways in which african americans could vote. >> schieffer: you know, to me, most telling statistic in this whole race, dee dee, is when i read and learned from those exit polls that barack obama had won the cuban vote in florida.
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>> right. in florida. and the hispanic vote made up the entire marge nin florida, ended up being 73,000 votes. you can trace it a lot of different ways but that's one of them. that's pretty surprising. what the obama campaign will tell you, not only was their turnout operation every bit as good and better but their message was better. they won this because they appealed to middle class voters. they said who will do a better job taking care of people like you and middle cross voters resoundingly said yes. another thing john was alluding to, when you try to suppress the vote you try to-- it really makes them mad. and that helps to explain why so many people in the counties around cleveland, for example, why african american turnout went up. they stood in line for seven, eight hours, even before election day, in order to make sure that their votes were counted. people were still voting in florida after the president was declared the winner because they wanted to make sure their vote counted. >> schieffer: you know, peggy, there's little doubt in my mind that the republicans have to come up with something different
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when it comes to hispanics. do you think they can find a way to appeal to hispanic voters? >> i think they can. i think they should. i would start with this. everything that we just heard sounds extremely true but maybe the overall mel o message of this campaign is a lot of americans don't like the republican party as they currently perceive it. it's attitudes. its way of dealing with people. it seems to me this is a very promising moment for republicans. there was a question in-- two questions in the exit polls. one was, as dee dee mentioned, who cares about you? and that was the democrats. but who shares your values was the republicans. so we have a whole nation of-- we have a lot of people who-- who agree with conservative values, but it wasn't reflected in the-- in the voting the other day. i think the party party should take this opportunity to change itself in means ways.
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one of the things that must change is its public face and its attitude. and, yes, of course, it should move forward on immigration. it just should. >> schieffer: we're gog have to take a little break here. we'll come back and talk about all of this and more in a minute. it ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education. let's invest in our teachers... ...so they can inspire our students. let's solve this. i'i invest in what i know.r. i turned 65 last week. i'm getting married. planning a life. there are risks, sure. but, there's no reward without it.
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>> yeah, well, one of the things i think i am seeing is that the republican establishment in washington and the establishments wherever they exist in the country, they took a shock. they are somewhat concussed. however, the base itself has been shocked and is somewhat concussed. and i think sometimes at moments of shock you can look at yourself and you can say there are ways i need change. so i actually consider this promising in some ways. it can move forward things in a good way. i think the tea party is going to have to look at itself. it's been so helpful to the republican party in the past. it saved it by not going third party in 2010, helping the republicans sweep the house. but the tea party style of rage is not one nawins over converts and makes-- that wins over converts and makes people lean towards them and say, "i want to
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listen to you." i think a friendly persuasion has to begin now from the republican party to people of the united states. >> schieffer: david? >> let's go back to basics. this is a race republicans should have won. they thought they were going to win it. they thought they'd take back the senate. i think for starters, the obama team out-played them, the romney team, on a regular basis. in the last days of the campaign, the obama campaign won 364. they lost one, the first night of the debates and the rest of the balm team out-played them. i do think to go back to what peggy is saying, that the republican party has a fundamental problem and that is, this is a center-right country. this is a country where the republicans should do well. but they're increasingly perceived as radical right. and they left a lot of people behind. there were any number of women who would have vote republican this time. the women's vote was actually a much bigger deal in this than the latino vote. and the fact so many women who would have gone with him on economic issues got turned off
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on the social issues is really important. as we approach this grand bargain, there is a tension in this party that they've got to resolve, peggy. and i don't know whether they can. i keep hearing, look, mitch mcconnell is going to be up in two years. lamar alexander is going to be up in two years. saxby chandler is going to be up in two years. can those guys afford to sign on to tax increases? are they then going to face primaries like dig lugar and other people. that's the tension in the party. >> the republicans keep having primaryite, they are regular go to keep losing and they will not be immune. they will continue losing their country. >> they will keep having primary-itis as long as the tea party occupies a big swath of the republican base. and the tea party, while very help envelope 2010, has always opinion more a sign of dysfunction in the house than a help. you don't have the party splitting-- the electorate being dragged kicking and screaming to
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the right if things are going well. the republicans would control the senate now but for the tea party. >> but they wouldn't have the house. and that's what makes a difference. >> and that's why i think-- >> the energy and dynamic-- >> that's their tension. it's a dilemma. >> but if the energy and dynamism can move towards reform, great. i think there's a tension in the republican base-- you said they got a shock. but it's unclear whether the shock is i need to change or i was sent to stop this guy obama from raising taxes and doing terrible things to the country. that's unresolved. >> schieffer: let me ask you something, dee dee. there are going to have to be some changees, i would think, in the administration and in the democratic party. after all, the president has had four years to try to break this deadlock and he hasn't been able to do it yet. i'm not saying it's all his fault. isn't he going to have to give a little here? >> no question. and he said i'm willing to compromise, i'm willing to listen, and i'm willing to entertain new ideas. the truth, though, is the
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president has the upper hand right now. not only was he re-elected by a pretty convincing electorate. he also picked up-- we picked up seats in the house and senate. and with the fiscal-- and 60% of americans, by the way, agree with him on taxes. they think taxes need to go up for the wealthiest so everybody pays their fair share. they agree with him we need a balanced approach. how is that going to play out? that's $64 million question as we approach the end of this year, the lame duck session. how does the president-- he doesn't want to drive the country over the fiscal cliff, but is he willing to let tax cuts expire for everyone if republicans won't agree to raise taxes for the wealthiest? that's main tension and it is going to affect everything else happening in the next two months. >> schieffer: what do you think, john? >> i think one important thing is the president is not up for reelection. so the republicans can work with him without fear of helping his electoral chances and that might help things a little bit in terms of the negotiation. i would love to see how the obama-boehner golf game part two might go because boehner now has to make a choice. he has a alaska, and he is kind
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of a deal maker by natural inclination. he has to figure out what his 230-some-odd members took away from this election. how many of relexingtonned tea party type members feel they were sent to washington because they refused to comexprms how many are available for the new kind of compromise necessary to get a grand bargain. where he lands is the most interesting question to me. >> schieffer: what happens next, david? let's just talk about this. unless they find some compromise here, you're going to see these horrendous across-the-board cuts in defense and social programs. you're also going to see these tax cuts expire, which means everybody gets a tax increase. do you think they can do it before the end of the year? or will they just kick it down the road? >> i think they can find a way to postpone the fiscal cliff for another six months a year. i think that's certainly doable because everybody understands you're going to get tipped into recession and everybody pays a price if you do that. they're often dumb in
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washington, but they're not crazy. and i just don't think they'll let us go over the cliff. the real question to me is can they begin to fashion a bargain based on simpson-bolz. i thought lindsey graham earlier in the show was very smart by going to simpson-bowles. i think there are going to be democrats will who want simpson-bowles. some would disagree but the question to me is if the republicans are willing to take simpson-bowles, will democrats will take it. >> can the president sell-- >> schieffer: if they do simpson-bowles, republicans in the house will have to disavow the pledge they took not to raise taxes that they all took. >> they have a little escape route-- the escape route could be tax reform. the rate doesn't change but you remove a lot of deduction so you get some revenue and it gives you a rhetorical way out to say we never raised rates. >> the challenge is, you can't do tax reform in the next two months and the tax rates expire december 31. so how do you get to a koms program-- >> you can extend it.
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the "washington post" pointed out you can keep tax rates exactly where they are, limit deductions to $50,000 and you would raise as much as you would raise by increasing rates on the wealthy. that would be a fair compromise, as long as it's accompanied by entitlement reform. >> schieffer: it would mean the president would then be willing to extend tax cuts for the wealthy? >> at that rate. but with the understanding, it's got to be tied to actual reform. and that's trick, how do you-- what's the trigger mechanism. >> the wealthy hasv to pay more. he's not saying rate have to go up. they've been very careful. >> when you-- >> it's an opening position. he's the press secretary. you go out there and you stand by the administration's position which is-- is-- it could be thae evolve. i think we're all hoping for some revolution here. ( laughter ). >> schieffer: when did evolution become so popular? sean hannity has now evolved on a path to citizenship for hispanics. i mean, evolution is suddenly the word of the hour here.
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>> well, the president evolved before sean hannity did. >> schieffer: maybe we need some creationism here-- create new ways to do things. >> evolution brought a new species to washington. the-- what would be interesting about a deal in which the president said, another we're not going to raise rates. he said he will be able-- remember in 2010 after the election the president worked out a deal with congress, and he extended the bush-era tax cuts, but he got a lot of things that liberals wanted. he gave in on his big thing which is the top rate would have to go up but he also got stuff liberals wanted. that kind of a deal could work out here. if we get revenue-- we don't rails the rate but he could say look at all the good things we got. >> through tax reform they would be making our impossible, ridiculous tax code more coherent, more efficient, more helpful, which a lot of people would like. >> very successful in 1986 when they lowered rates-- >> in fairness, republicans have been saying for a long time, do
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tax reform, not just a tax hike. do the reform. the rich will pay more if you put a cap of, say, $50,000 on what they can write off each year. >> do you think-- my sense is, peggy, that the president is right he establishes two principles -- a, we have to have more revenue. i think more republicans are coming attend that. and, b, the rich need pay a higher proportion. how you get there say question. >> how you get there is very meaningful. one way would be very hard for republicans, and another way would be much more acceptable. indeed, many republicans have been pushing it. >> i agree with you. >> back to david's point, you have to figure out entitlements. >> we're all going to forget the rhetoric of the campaign where if you touched medicare you were terrible and horrible. now everybody-- >> by the way, there's a whole other question of the sequester, right, which takes effect beginning in january. so you have to deal with that in the lame duck as well. you have to-- to-- have to findn
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payment on those $110 billion in cuts that will take effect in the coming year. >> sounds like a lot of fees. >> schieffer: i will let peggy have the last word. >> my dream is that after this election, two things that are a little surprising will happen. one is that the president's approach will be newly magnanimous. and eager to make sound history quickly. it will add to his legacy. it will be helpful to the american people. and the republicans on the other hand, will be newly soaker an sober and thoughtful and grave and republican leaders in washington will come forward and say this isn't a perfect deal but it's a good deal. move forward. >> schieffer: all right, i'm sure-- you got it right. we're going to be back with this week's "face the nation" flashback. ,,
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>> schieffer: the election made it a boom year for the people who make campaign commercials. but it was also good for the business of another group-- the late night comics and that is our "face the nation"
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flashback. >> this is my concession call. congratulations, blah, blah, blah. did you it. >> hey, hey, hey. everything okay? you seem a little down in ( laughter ) >> it's just i really wanted to be president. i was going to create 12 million jobs. >> look, look, buck up. you created one job, except it was for me. >> all right, very funny. you got me. >> if congress does nothing, the u.s. could go off a so-called fiscal cliff that could cause another worldwide financial collapse like the one in 2008. congress had a lot of questions about the scenario, like, what do you mean if we do nothing? ( laughter ). >> the vice president joe biden said today that now that the election is over, he is going to take a vacation. you've been vice president for four years. that is your vacation! what are you going to do? where are you going to go? >> schieffer: our "face the nation" flashback. ,,,,,,,,
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>> schieffer: well, that's it for us today. we're going to leave you with a reminder, this is veterans day. may we never forget those who gave their all to keep the rest of us free. we'll be back here next week. we'll see you then. captioning sponsored by cbs ,,,,,,,,,,
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